KROPP v. KILDEER POLICE PENSION BOARD

On December 19, 2018 the Second District Appellate Court issued its Rule 23 Order in the matter of Kropp v. Board of Trustees of the Kildeer Police Pension Fund.  The appellate court affirmed the Pension Board’s decision denying the plaintiff’s application for a line of duty, or in the alternative, a not on duty disability pension.

The plaintiff applied for a disability pension based on a cervical spine injury after he was struck in the face while arresting a combative subject.  The Pension Board selected three doctors to examine the plaintiff.  Two doctors concluded the plaintiff was not disabled.  One doctor concluded the plaintiff was disabled, but that it was not caused by an act of duty.  After the plaintiff applied for a disability pension, the Village terminated the plaintiff’s employment at about the same time the plaintiff started receiving the Pension Board’s doctors’ reports.  After he was terminated, the plaintiff sought to amend his disability application to add new claims based on psychiatric issues, orthopedic issues, and hearing loss.  The Pension Board denied the plaintiff’s motion to amend and ultimately denied the plaintiff’s application for a disability pension.  The trial court and the appellate court affirmed.

The appellate court held that the Pension Board did not err when it denied the plaintiff’s motion to amend.  Specifically the appellate court held that the relation back doctrine under the code of civil procedure did not apply and that the plaintiff could not amend his disability application because he was not a “police officer” under the Pension Code at the time he sought to amend his disability pension.  The appellate court also held that the Pension Board did not violate the plaintiff’s due process rights in the way it handled evidence during the hearing and that plaintiff waived his due process arguments by failing to raise them during the hearing.  Finally, the appellate court held the Pension Board’s decision that plaintiff was not disabled was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

On December 11, 2018 the appellate court heard Oral Arguments on the appeal.

PGM attorney Jeff Goodloe represented the Pension Board in this matter.

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